It's all about the connections

Kevin McIntosh
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Book review

Six Pixels of Separation

Six Pixels Of Separation

Everyone is Connected. Connect Your Business to Everyone.

By Mitch Joel

Business Plus, Hachette Book Group Inc.

$32.99 in Canada


            Mitch Joel must be an absolute wizard when it comes to packing for a long trip because I have rarely encountered anyone this good at jamming a whole lot of stuff into a very tight space.

            Six Pixels of Separation is Joel’s twist on the old “six degrees of separation” idea that says everyone is no more than six steps away from everyone else in the world. In the digital world, he says, this is no longer relevant because everyone is already connected. Period. (For the uninitiated, a pixel is the smallest item of information in a digital image. In other words, something very tiny.)

            Joel is president of Twist Image, a Canadian digital marketing and communications agency. He says what his award-winning company does is “multimarketing.” In 2008 he was named one of the top 100 online marketers in the world.

            Don’t let the techie references to pixels, the Internet and all things digital put you off; this is a business book for the new media world. In fact, it might be the business book for today. The book aims squarely at the bottom line in a concise instructional style. And unlike a lot of business books, it’s even fun to read.

            Joel has crammed his book full of stories, experiences, anecdotes and examples about how to achieve personal and business success in today’s online world. He is at his best when he’s telling stories – about himself and others – to illustrate the lesson.

            One of the best stories is about how, through his online connections, he learned about a product called Little MissMatched Shoes and how that knowledge helped lead him into a deal with a major New York firm to publish this book.

            Another story illustrates the enormous power of building your own online brand. It’s about Kyle MacDonald, a free thinker who used the internet and his personal brand to execute a series of trades that took him from a simple red paper clip to a new house – in less than a year, with only 15 trades.

            The cast of characters in this book are some of the best and brightest entrepreneurs who have mastered the Internet to achieve personal and professional success. But Joel is savvy enough to know that all good ideas weren’t born yesterday. He’s happy to give a tip of his digital hat to the likes of Mark Twain, the Spanish conquistador Hernando Cortez, and Charles Darwin.

            Every business how-to book stresses the importance of networking and this one is no exception. What sets Six Pixels apart is that Joel takes all the basics – communications, meeting people, connecting with those who share your values and interests, building your circle of influence and becoming the go-to person in a community – and shows how to use new media tools to make them all sparkle. The best part, Joel reminds readers frequently, is that anyone can make it all happen for almost no money.


Kevin McIntosh ( is Director of Digital Publishing for Transcontinental Newspapers

Mitch Joel can be found at

Organizations: Group Inc., Digital Publishing for Transcontinental Newspapers

Geographic location: Canada, New York

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